Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

Hello, dear reader!
Yesterday it was speculation, today it is fact: Sainsbury's buys Argos for GBP 1.3 billion. More mega deals are about to take place with a Chinese chemical giant poised to acquire Swiss agriculture company Syngenta and Germany's Baywa ready to take a majority share in a Dutch fruit business. Online retailer Ocado, on the other hand, still waits for a partner. 

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Asia & South Pacific
Aldi shakes up Adelaide   Hundreds of bargain hunters have flocked to the opening of the first Aldi store in South Australia, while independant retailer Foodland gears up for the competition (paywall) by adding 22 stores over five years. However, the German discount powerhouse doesn't see any need to fine-tune its business model. ▪
E-commerce expansions with Ebay   Australian e-commerce player Bigcommerce has partnered with Ebay to offer customers Down Under an inventory platform to list and monitor their products +++ Over in China, transactions on Alibaba’s imported goods retail platform, Tmall Global, enjoy a rising demand for overseas goods. ▪
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ChemChina wants Syngenta   The state-owned Chinese chemical giant is set to buy the Swiss pesticide manufacturer for around US$ 42 billion. The deal would make ChemChina the world’s largest supplier of pesticides. Last year, agriculture company Monsanto failed to merge with Syngenta despite relentless efforts. ▪
europe
Anticipated acquisitions    Sainsbury's has finally reached an agreement with Home Retail Group to acquire Argos for GBP 1.3 billion and become a combined food and non-food empire to challenge its rivals +++ Meanwhile, Germany’s Baywa Group plans to expand into the exotic fruit business and take over a majority share in TFC Holland  for EUR 28.7 million. ▪
Ocado stays optimistic   The British online grocer, which just posted its second year of profits, is confident it will sign multiple overseas technology deals, despite missing out on its target of securing the first one in 2015. Meanwhile, Ocado-boss Tim Steiner has rejected rumours (paywall) that Amazon would like to acquire his company. ▪
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Good times for luxury goods   The world’s largest luxury group, LVMH, beat expectations during the last three months of 2015, as resilience in Europe, Japan and the United States helped compensate for weakness in China. Traffic at the group's stores in France was almost back to normal after the November attacks in Paris. ▪
usa & canada
Total Produce buys in California   The Irish multinational produce company has announced that it has acquired a 65% stake in Progressive Produce, a Los Angeles-based grower, packer and distributor of conventional and organic produce to the retail, wholesale and foodservice sectors in the US and Canada. ▪
Amazon thinks brick-and-mortar   After having opened its first physical store in its home town Seattle last year, the online giant plans to open up to 400 book stores according to Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of mall giant General Growth Partners. However, Amazon has not confirmed the openings. ▪
Expanding footprints   Seattle-based specialty outdoor retailer REI is on the move and plans to open new stores in New York and Florida, while Lakeland-based supermarket operator Publix heads norths to enter its seventh state and has signed leases for its first stores in Virginia. ▪
Sustainability matters
Preventing waste   Over the past 20 years, packaging has effectively delivered on sustainability including economic, environmental, and social learnings, according to a ‘study of packaging efficiency as it relates to waste prevention’ by ULS (Use Less Stuff). ▪
Cutting costs   A joint project, called 'True Cost of Food', aims to educate consumers at the point of sale about how best to keep food supplies sustainable +++ Over in Canada, retailer Sobeys is set to encourage healthy eating by reducing prices on many produce items at its stores. ▪

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